Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is mandated through Article 3 of the Africa CDC governing statute to “Support Member States in Capacity building in public health through medium- and long-term field epidemiologic and laboratory training programmes (FETP).”
In line with this mandate, Africa CDC in collaboration with the IHR Strengthening Project is currently supporting 63 FETP residents at an advanced level within Southern (48) and Central (15) African Union member states. This program has been implemented since early 2021 and is now ready to progress the residents to the second year of their studies.
In line with this support the Africa CDC team, which consisted of Dr. Tiruneh Baye IHR Strengthening Project Workforce Development Advisor for Africa CDC, conducted a supportive supervision visit to the Namibian National FETP program. This visit was conducted to understand the implementation status of the program; to troubleshoot any challenges; to converse with key stakeholders of the program; to understand the impact on the FETP graduates; to document any successes stories; and to get the overall understanding where Africa CDC and other partners can add value as far as FETP is concerned.
The team admired the commitment and leadership of Namibian Ministry of Health and Social Affairs towards the National FETP program and observed the programs resilience by continuing to run despite several challenges. The graduates of this program have distinguished themselves by acquiring advanced positions within the ministry as well as by aiding in several outbreak responses in the country. There are some challenges were identified, and the Africa CDC team has assured the ministry of Africa CDC’s commitment to work with them to achieve the desired result. The Africa CDC team has also provided recommendations to Africa CDC leadership on how best to continue supporting this program.
Picture taken during the meeting conducted with the Namibian FETP program team in Dec 2022, from left to right Dr. Tiruneh Baye (Technical Advisor for workforce development, Africa CDC), Ms. Diana Ewaga (Field coordinator, Namibia FETP Program), Dr. Emily Navitalya (Program Director, Namibia FETP program), Ms. Faith Nfii (Program Coordinator for health workforce development, Africa CDC) and Dr. Ipyanna Modelini (Resident Advisor, FETP)
By Dr Tiruneh Baye